The Week 2 NCAA basketball rankings are starting to be released today, and we begin with the USA Today/Coaches Poll. The Bay Area is not represented in the Top 25, although Cal is getting a vote and Stanford has a chance to get into the polls with a solid run this week in the 76 Classic down in Anaheim. The Pac-10 is represented by a Washington Huskies squad that has climbed up to No. 11 in the rankings, from No. 15 last week. Of course, Washington's two wins thus far are over McNeese State and Eastern Washington so let's not get ahead of ourselves yet. They next face a Virginia team that was beaten down handily by a young Stanford Cardinal team. Washington actually has a pretty weak non-conference schedule this season. When you factor in a rather weak Pac-10 in 2010-2011 (for now at least), I sense that Washington could end up being a team that gets a high seed in March and gets knocked off early in the tournament.
The Golden Bears are now receiving a single vote after soundly defeating Cal State-Northridge and New Mexico State. The Lobos were picked third in a fairly strong Mountain West conference (editor's note: I'm from Las Vegas and a HUGE UNLV fan), so I think that win is fairly significant for the Bears. Cal has a big test this week as they face No. 20 Temple on Thanksgiving. They then will face either Georgia or Notre Dame, both of whom would present a solid challenge. If Cal can win out this weekend they could make up some serious ground in the Receiving Votes category.
Stanford is not receiving votes, but has a chance to make an impact with the voters this week. Stanford is currently 3-0 with wins over San Diego, Virginia, and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. However, Stanford faces a big week starting on Thanksgiving at the 76 Classic in Anaheim. Stanford faces a veteran tourney team in the Murray State Racers on Thanksgiving. They would then face either Tulsa or UNLV on Friday and then a third team on Sunday. They won't climb into the Top 25 with three wins, but they'd definitely be worthy of votes and some sense of excitement if they can win those games.
Here are the complete rankings, with last week's ranking in parenthesis.